Webinars: An Education Like No Other

educationEducation has always been a much sought after commodity in my family and it wasn’t always obtainable due to various obstacles including income. If your mind set still thinks of education as book learning or attending classes in-person, then perhaps you’re missing out on one of the greatest educational revolutions: webinars as an online educational offering.

What Are Webinars?

Put simply, a webinar is a way of participating in an educational lecture using your computer and an Internet connection. It is the equivalent of sitting in an education session with other participants and listening to an expert present slides or materials.

With a webinar, you connect through a platform such as GoToWebinar (the most popular webinar platform) and you watch a slide show onscreen while a presenter speaks about a specific topic. Most webinars are free, although some charge a fee. In addition, you can interact with the webinar moderator (the person who hosts the webinar and introduces the presenter) as well as the presenter using a text panel or sometimes using your own computer’s microphone.

In order to participate in a webinar, you need a computer and an Internet connection. Usually you register beforehand and then a reminder will be sent via email. Login to the webinar a few minutes before start time, turn up the volume on your computer speakers and then sit back and learn!

Genealogy and Family History Webinars

The best way to stay on top of the latest webinars and to sign up on sessions that appeal to your educational needs, is to check out the GeneaWebinars site and especially the related Google calendar. Some webinars, like those offered by the Illinois State Genealogical Society are scheduled a year out so you can sign up now for webinars in November 2014!

Other providers of webinars include vendors of genealogy software like Legacy Family Tree which offers free webinars most Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Family Tree University also offers webinars and covers many different topics related to family history.

Many genealogy societies, like the Southern California Genealogical Society also provide free webinars. One thing common with genealogy societies is that the recording of a webinar is often only available to members of the society and you’ll need to join in order to have access to an entire library of educational webinar recordings.

It’s Not Just Genealogy – Other Webinar Opportunities

The webinar revolution in the genealogy and family history community is about four years old now, but there are webinars in many other communities and industries that could be a match for your interest or hobby.

The National Association of Digital Scrapbookers offers webinars for scrapbookers as does Creative Passion with classes covering many similar topics. Some societies including the Association of Personal Historians and the American Association of Information Professionals offer webinars as a benefit of membership in the organization.

FREE Webinar: Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories

Here at Saving Memories Forever, we are hosting our first ever webinar on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, at 7:30 pm Central (8:30 pm Eastern) entitled Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories. Click here to register today!

The Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories webinar will provide you with all the information on the latest methods and tools used to capture and preserve those family stories. In addition, once you’ve learned how it easy it is to build a family archive of stories, you’ll want to share them with others using the tips and tricks shared during this webinar.

The webinar will be presented by one of the leading presenters of genealogy and family history webinars: Thomas MacEntee. Thomas is the founder of GeneaBloggers.com, a community  of over 3,000 family history bloggers around the world, and a nationally-known genealogy professional, author, speaker and educator.

Want To Get Up To Speed With Webinars?

If you are new to webinars, here are some tips and resources to check out:

  • Is my computer ready for a webinar? One of the best sites to review is at the National Seminars Training page for webinars. In general you will need a computer with a monitor, a way to listen to audio, and a strong Internet connection. Also see Legacy Family Tree’s What Do I Need To Participate page.
  • Will a wireless connection work for a webinar? For most participants, you can watch a webinar using a wireless connection. Tip: disable any other resources that might be eating up bandwidth such as Skype and close all other programs to ensure the best transmission.
  • Where can I find webinars and how do I register? For genealogy and family history webinars, visit GeneaWebinars. Click the webinar registration link, provide the basic details such as name and email address. You will be sent a link to connect to the webinar and sometimes a reminder will appear via email just before the webinar starts. For other areas of interest, search for the topic plus the term “free webinar” on Google or some other search engine.

downloadThomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. For more information visit here.© 2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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